Thank you Ubuntu for supporting my Dell 6420 with Sandy Bridge

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Hi i want to say sorry and thanks to ubuntu. With the first release of Ubuntu and unity i was very unhappy about the decision of ubuntu. I went forward to gnome3 and the preview version of gnome3 makes me unhappy too. So i go back to 10.04 LTS with macbuntu mod. Beside my normal private desktop pc, i'm running an dell latitutde notebook with win7 (for office) and ubuntu 10.04.

Now i bought an new latitude E6420 with core i 5 and sandy bridge. So i put my hdd back in this new notebook. Win7 works like a charm, but 10.04 don't know the new hardware... So i decided to replace 10.04 lts with 11.10 beta1. The second contact with unity: the gui freezes and lags a lot . But i forgot that it has been beta state. At this time I thought this is the end of using ubuntu...

So i spent 1 week trying a lot of distro and so i have installed the last versions of mint , opensuse and fedora. The first thing you will see when you boot from livecd is a black screen after the boot manager. So you have to put nomodeset to the kernel at boot time. Now it is possible to boot and see something with the vesa driver. After installation the distros i tried to install sandy compatible intel drivers. I spent a lot of time in this. For me it wasn't possible to take the advantage of my new hardware.

Very disappointed i took a last look to the dell support page. Surprising for me you can download a modded 10.10 ubuntu. This distro has patched some new drivers for intels platform. I began to download the iso.

While downloading 10.10 from dell, i think about all my installation and i point out that ubuntu was the only os which can boot without usin the nomodeset flag. Today i gave ubuntu one more try. At office i have download 11.04. While booting the live cd … wow i can see it in right resolution. UMTS Card is asking for the pin. And wifi adapter tells me about seeing some networks. Not enough to get tears in my eyes. Installing 11.04 and surprise surprise. Bootmanager to MBR works as however. (Suse installed something to MBR and it looks like lilo).

While i writing to you, i copy my home back to my new installation.   Yet everything works out of the box. Standby , 3d Effects, good speed , good power management, wifi and umts/edge.  At this time i have to say: When you are using new hardware, you will have to use ubuntu for best hardware support.

No other distro can handle sandy as good as the april 2011 version. After doing some administration to 11.04 unity is not so bad. We can look forward to 11.10. A lot of people do good things to other distributions, but for me the ubuntu team and the community do it better.

Please comment this …

One last word … I know it's a problem that hardware company’s do not enough to get their product to work with linux. Perhaps it should be a part of intel to make sandy compatible with linux. Thanks to all coders and developers ….


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19 Responses

  1. Me says:

    “Hi, I bought a PC with a ‘Made for Windows 7’ sticker on it and am frustrated because Ubuntu won’t recognize my hardware properly.”

    By preinstalled, problem solved. 😉 I realize most people refuse to “get this”, but it’s not changing anytime soon.

    Stop supporting hardware vendors that don’t support the OS you’d like to use. Simple.

  2. Me says:

    The above link is for a patched Ubuntu release designed for your hardware and supported by Dell. It took two seconds with Google…

  3. Aguinar says:

    I also want to buy a dell notebook. A Vostro 3555 with an AMD Llano prozesor. And, like you, i want to use Ubuntu on it but I dont know how good llano prozesors running in Ubuntu…Do you know something about it?

  4. Bill says:

    Nice well said

  5. AbuFaisal.o says:

    Would you share the link for the modded ubuntu for Dell Latitude?

    I use Dell Latitude E6500.

  6. rbhkamal says:

    I totally agree with you, BUT couldn’t you have used your WIN7 to spell/grammar check your post?

  7. Thomas says:


    it already checked with win7premium64bit.
    ok next time i post it for you in german?

  8. Frank Henderson says:

    I’ll be just as happy when Intel’s WiDi is supported by Ubuntu.

  9. Me says:


    According to Dell, it’s a Windows-only PC. Hence, the little sticker on it. 😉

    That said, Google gave me some great info. Try this for help with that model.

  10. Bholzhauser says:

    Little sticker only identifies machine as being infected with the msoft virus, doesn’t mean it cant run a good OS!

  11. Paul Lawley-Jones says:

    @rbhkamal English is not the poster’s first language.

  12. I got the same experience with you when I was installed Ubuntu 10.04 for the first time. I was reluctant to use Linux OS that time because I still thought that I couldn’t browser the internet through Ubuntu because I have to set everything and that was mean playing with terminal.

    But I was wrong, Ubuntu can detect all of my modems and wifi, since that time I’m using Ubuntu and Win7 side by side to help me working.

  13. Fabian says:

    I have the same laptop and use 11.4 ripped out unity as i need the compiz cube its been perfect no issues at all !

  14. Thomas says:

    It is right everybody should check the vendor compatibility and there enough posts and websites to check it out. But for me it was a little different, I used a Latitude E6400 for 3 year. Linux is good supported for this machine. Before I bought this notebook I sent a mail to the dell support and they send a lot of documentation and tips. But this summer the heatpipe was damaged and dell changed my board etc three times. After that I send my e6400 back to dell for diagnostics. After one week it arrived back with the fourth mainboard and now a broken lan interface. After escalating my case, dell send an new E6420 with no cost for me.
    So now I have to work with my new hardware and also linux.

    Sorry for my English, but I want to post on one of the best ubuntu sites. And I hope it will help some users outside to decide for a good distribution.

  15. Thomas says:


    I dont think you really need a modded ubuntu version. The hardware of your 6500 is not different to my old E6400. And 10.04 or higher should work out of the box.

    Have you tried to boot an live cd? I can be that you have to install some closed source drivers if you have a nvidia nvs card inside.
    With my old E6400 the only thing not worked out of box was audio over display-port –> hdmi.

    If you need this i can search my documentation ….


  16. AbuFaisal.o says:


    Thanks for reply. I would like to get the audio over display-port –> hdmi

    I appreciate that.

  17. Thomas says:


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